Category Archives : Merlin Engineering Services

Windows Server 2003 – End of Life

serversDo you currently use a Windows 2003 Server for your business operations? If so, are you aware that as of July 14th 2015 Windows 2003 Servers will no longer be supported by Microsoft?

What does this mean for you?

The end of support from Microsoft means that your server will no longer receive security updates or patch fixes. This could result in your business being at risk from new and existing threats.

What to do now

This is not something you need to address alone, why don’t you speak to our Engineering department for more information about how your business could be affected and for help in the migration process towards a new supported server.

If you don’t want to pay for a new server but don’t want to risk running your Windows 2003 server, you could move to Merlin’s hosted service / Cloud Computing.

Merlin develops new Offline Service

Merlin Offline Service

Don’t want to leave your business fate in the hands
of your ISP?

Merlin Business Software have developed a new solution to reduce this risk.  Merlin Offline enables you to trade even if your internet connection is down.

Ask The Expert

The Merlin Offline solution was produced by our own Engineering team of specialists who had recognised this could be a potential issue for our customers.  Martin Williams, Merlin’s Head of Engineering explains how this development came about.  “A particular customer’s branch had no access to Merlin at the head office as their Internet Service Provider (ISP) had decided to do maintenance work on the local exchange on a Saturday morning…

Martin continues… “…the users asked if there was any way they could have a separate copy of recent trading data available so they could at least avoid turning customers away while their data service was being restored.”

Discussing this with Merlin’s Senior Technical Consultant, John Barber, John reacted quickly by putting together a specification and prototype application, which ultimately resulted in the Merlin Offline solution.

Martin explains “The beauty of the Offline solution is that a full back up is automatically copied to a master station on a daily basis, with the ability to have as many Offline slave clients as you require.  This could be a single client for customers with a single site and server, or in the case of companies with multiple branches, each branch can have its own “master” client which can feed other “slave” clients within the branch.  This is solution is ideal where a large branch has more than one trade counter or office.  The Offline solution also offers an additional safeguard for customers using our hosted “cloud” services who may lose connection to their hosting centre for whatever reason.”

Used simply as a reference, the Offline solution will give you visibility of your customers, their special pricing, stock information and availability up to the last update of data and you will then be able to perform standard Merlin operations to give business continuity whilst the offending issue is resolved.

We have made the solution as cost effective as possible to ensure customers of any size can afford it, with a single master station at just £30 per month and additional slave station’s at £15 per month.

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We’re extending our support hours…

Having listened to customer feedback and in recognition of our customers typical opening times, we’re extending our support hours at both ends of the day.

From Monday 14th July 2014, our Support Desk will be available:

Mon – Thur: 08:00 – 18:00
Friday: 08:00 – 17:00

Q. Has the process in which we log a support call changed?

A. No, you still log support calls in the same way: 01246 457170, or via the online support form.

Instock Disposables: Our Hosted Experience

Having dealt with Merlin Business Software since 2004 we have recently upgraded to the latest version of Merlin.  We are delighted we did as the new system has improved our efficiency immensely and has brought great benefits to our customers.

We have also taken a giant leap in technology by having our system hosted.  Business Continuity is an extremely important factor to us and the hosting solution allows us to access our system anywhere there is internet access.  This allows our depots to work independently, without the need for a connection to Head Office, enabling this continuity and giving our customers peace of mind.

Our concerns over system downtime during the upgrade were unfounded since the transition when we moved to the hosting centre was seamless across our multi depot organisation.

We can only thank Merlin for all their efforts and wonder why we waited so long to take the plunge!

Karen Main, IT Manager, Instock Disposables

What you need to know about PaaS

Most businesses are familiar with cloud computing and its ability to deliver agility, scalability, convenience of anywhere access and drive down costs. However, there is a compelling case for organisations to venture further, utilising “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) to further accelerate innovation.

PaaS accelerates the development and deployment of a variety of applications, whether web-based or mobile, B2B or B2C.

What exactly is PaaS?

PaaS is a cloud-computing platform that is provided online by a cloud services vendor. The platform allows organisations to deploy and run business-critical software in the cloud, without ever having to worry about purchasing, installing or maintaining a sophisticated IT infrastructure: you just get to focus on your business, everything else is done for you, as an on-demand pay-per-use service.